Wedding Traditions: The Bouquet + Garter Toss

Although the history of the bouquet and garter toss is a bit scandalous, both are wedding traditions that have transitioned well into the modern wedding world. As far as timing goes, the bouquet and garter tosses generally take place near the end of the reception, either before the cake is cut or just before the couple makes their getaway. (Don’t miss the other post in our series, featuring our favorite first dance wedding photos!)

We had our photographers give us their two cents on this special wedding tradition:

1. The Bouquet Toss

“The bride’s throwing of the bouquet is supposed to predict marriage for the lucky girl who catches it. This same girl is then subjected to having the garter placed on her leg by the recipient of the garter.”

– Peggy of Golden Vision Photography

bride throwing bouquet outdoors for guests to catch.

Photo Tip:

“I have always preferred the view facing the bride when throwing a bouquet and also facing the groom when throwing the garter. It allows me to get a great image of the bride and groom’s faces as well as the reaction of the family and friends at the reception and it also highlights the battle royal to catching these items. It’s just a great moment that couples want to be captured.”

– Corey of Faymus Media

at a seaside wedding, the bride throws her bridal bouquet.

2. The Garter Toss

“If you opt to continue the tradition of reaching way up under your bride’s dress in order to find the blue silk garter, do it as tastefully as possible, while having a sense of humor. Once you find it, you’ll throw it into a crowd of the single men in attendance.”

– Peggy of Golden Vision Photography

the groom pulling the garter off from her lovely bride.
the groom toss the garter to the excited groomsmen at the back.

“I have never seen a man so determined to catch a garter. The best part of this picture by far is that NONE of the other men are trying to catch the garter at all. Some of them even have their hands in their pockets! This is something I’ve come across at a lot of weddings it seems.

A lot of the time the garter just bounces off of someone and everyone points at him like he has the plague. At the last wedding we shot, he had to throw it 3 times before someone actually reached out and caught it. It was refreshing to see this guy so enthusiastic and we were all wondering if he just really wanted to get married or what until he said “I win! What does that mean?”. The moral of the story is, the garter toss is 1000x more fun if there is someone there that is blissfully ignorant of wedding traditions.”

– Whitney of WN Photography

throwing of bouquet by the groom tp the bridesmaids.

Want to Switch it up a Bit?

“Sometimes it’s okay to switch roles. Have the woman who caught the bouquet put the garter on the man who caught it! It calls for some great laughs in the crowd when this unsuspected moment happens!”

– Uncorked Studios

Don’t miss the other post in our wedding traditions series: “First Dance Wedding Photos”. And for more wedding inspo, check out SnapKnot!

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